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January 21, 2012

Dragon tales and shadow puppets

For this coming lunar new year, it will be the year of Dragon (龙) and there have been many Chinese tales regarding the mythical being Dragon. In conjunction with the upcoming Dragon Year, the Esplanade had exhibited works on "Dragon Tales". One of them was a shadow play created and performed by the Singapore Girls' Home and conceived by the Finger Players, a Singapore puppet group. The Finger Players have also put up some shadow puppets made in the form of dragons.

The shadow play, titled "Awakening the Dragon from Within" was set in a cosmopolitan and bustling city. A little girl is trapped in despair in this city because no one seems to care or listen to her. A mythical dragon suddenly appears and encourages her to discover her courage and capability.

Inspired by the dragon, the little girl started making shadow puppets from cutouts and shared her skills with others.

 This story is meaningful in that it is a reflection of the lives of city dwellers. Many children and youths tend to feel neglected as their parents are often busy making a living or have little time to spare for them. If there is someone who is willing to lend a helping hand or guide them, there will be hope and future for them. Just like how the Finger Players have discovered the talents of the children from Singapore Girls' Home and give them a chance to take part in this shadow play.

The Dragon's parting words to the little girl was, "Believe in yourself and happiness will ensue."

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